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DoubleD

Balkan Super League

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Klubi Regbise Tirana from the Albania Rugby League 🇦🇱, plus the Rhodes Knights Rugby League and Patras Rugby league from the Greek Rugby League Association 🇬🇷 are three of the new clubs that are set to take part in an expanded Balkan Super League in 2018.

The Balkan Super League will feature at least 12 clubs in 2018 from Serbia 🇷🇸, Bulgaria 🇧🇬, Bosnia 🇧🇦, Turkey 🇹🇷 plus Greece 🇬🇷 and Albania 🇦🇱.

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Fantastic to see this develop. I really wasn’t sure it was sustainable but it looks like it could be the flagship competition and be great to see some good sponsorship and tv coverage follow

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1 hour ago, deluded pom? said:

I was aware Albania had attended RLEF meetings but didn't realise they had formed a club. Are there any more teams in Albania?

Yeah there are a handful, mainly in Tirana but don’t think there’s any real structure to it. Very much in its infancy but they see joining the Balkans SL as better to progress development. 

A long way to go but if this continues to develop, then in years to come this competition could be the next professional competition. The key is to engage with commercial partners and tv companies

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It's the way league starts in many countries, established union clubs trying their hand in League.  Let's hope it goes well and they enjoy it and stick with League long-term.

I'm really excited about this BSL in general.  I expect the Serbian teams to dominate, but still, will watch as many matches as possible if they are on live stream.

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6 minutes ago, langpark said:

It's the way league starts in many countries, established union clubs trying their hand in League.  Let's hope it goes well and they enjoy it and stick with League long-term.

I'm really excited about this BSL in general.  I expect the Serbian teams to dominate, but still, will watch as many matches as possible if they are on live stream.

Serbia are obviously considerably more developed and advanced than the others but I’d expect the gap to close pretty quickly. Think the Greeks will pose a test or two

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1 hour ago, DoubleD said:

Yeah there are a handful, mainly in Tirana but don’t think there’s any real structure to it. Very much in its infancy but they see joining the Balkans SL as better to progress development. 

A long way to go but if this continues to develop, then in years to come this competition could be the next professional competition. The key is to engage with commercial partners and tv companies

Albania has a very small population, so would struggle to support a big domestic set-up. The Balkan SL gives them a larger competition that is reasonably close in geographical terms, and also expands their playing experience.

I have quite a few friends who still live there, and will certainly be cheering for Klubi Regbise Tirana.

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2 minutes ago, Futtocks said:

Albania has a very small population, so would struggle to support a big domestic set-up. The Balkan SL gives them a larger competition that is reasonably close in geographical terms, and also expands their playing experience.

I have quite a few friends who still live there, and will certainly be cheering for Klubi Regbise Tirana.

Quite a few Balkan nations do, Bosnia is not much more populated and if Montenegro joins then they're obviously the smallest of the lot. Definitely the way to go for the smaller nations (if financially viable) and should help improve the development at a faster rate too. I was doubtful whether this comp would last a season but it seems to actually be gaining traction. Over time i'm sure some of the weaker teams will be replaced by other stronger ones but it's certainly aiding development and bringing nations together. Great to see

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15 minutes ago, DoubleD said:

Quite a few Balkan nations do, Bosnia is not much more populated and if Montenegro joins then they're obviously the smallest of the lot. Definitely the way to go for the smaller nations (if financially viable) and should help improve the development at a faster rate too. I was doubtful whether this comp would last a season but it seems to actually be gaining traction. Over time i'm sure some of the weaker teams will be replaced by other stronger ones but it's certainly aiding development and bringing nations together. Great to see

Could be fun to see Kosovo and Albania meeting up, some time down the line. A big celebration of brotherhood!

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The thing about Europe is all these nations live in each others pockets. Id love to see more competitions like this maybe from Sweden Norway and Denmark. 

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I'd like to see a similar set up in the Western Mediterranean with Spanish and Italian clubs linking with the French league. 

Its great to see the Balkan SL expand. Hopefully each country can sustain a domestic league to run alongside this

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Not practical, look at the distance between Spain and Italy compared to these Balkan neighbours.

As someone else said, it could work in Northern Europe.  I think Sweden and Denmark were working together at one point, as did the Dutch and Belgians in 2015, with a combined league.  Can't really see it working anywhere else.

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On 12/16/2017 at 7:47 PM, B rad said:

The thing about Europe is all these nations live in each others pockets. Id love to see more competitions like this maybe from Sweden Norway and Denmark. 

Sweden and Denmark had a joint league but it fell apart when Denmark pretty much collapsed. Sweden and Norway are enormous countries so it's not really so practical. There was also a joint Netherlands-Belgium league, not sure why that stopped happening.

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1 hour ago, Evil Homer said:

Sweden and Denmark had a joint league but it fell apart when Denmark pretty much collapsed. Sweden and Norway are enormous countries so it's not really so practical. There was also a joint Netherlands-Belgium league, not sure why that stopped happening.

The Belgians weren't pulling their weight.  They just entered one team, Gorillas (basically their national team), flogged the Dutch teams and had no intentions of contributing anything more than that.  The Dutch since then have created a 4th team (Harderwijk) and seem to be growing steadily with a long-term plan.  Belgium on the other hand...

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16 hours ago, langpark said:

The Belgians weren't pulling their weight.  They just entered one team, Gorillas (basically their national team), flogged the Dutch teams and had no intentions of contributing anything more than that.  The Dutch since then have created a 4th team (Harderwijk) and seem to be growing steadily with a long-term plan.  Belgium on the other hand...

Still seems weird that they would just refuse to allow North Brussels to participate, surely they want all the strong teams they can get and the Gorillas now have nobody to play.

As for the Balkan Super League, I know it's not a Balkan state but any chance of the Hungarians participating in the future? That would seem like the best route for them to improve and get regular competition.

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This would be perfect, they had apparently stated their intention to apply in the inaugural season, but eventually pulled out.  Not sure why.  I'm guessing they were low on playing numbers.

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On 12/16/2017 at 8:47 PM, B rad said:

The thing about Europe is all these nations live in each others pockets. Id love to see more competitions like this maybe from Sweden Norway and Denmark. 

I have not been involved with the Danish RL for a few years (since the end of 2014).

But, I would certainly say that national borders can be a distractions.  What used to keep them relevent was national sports associations, who like to see the development kept within their own areas. 

An unfortunate side effect of healthy RLEF encouragement can be to see your own association get a higher status based on the development of domestic leagues.  A good thing, but means there is an incentive not to include neighbouring teams.

I argued a few years ago that the very wealthiest countries are dealing with the future now.  It might be that organised leagues as we know them are not the way and we have to make games occasional big occasions and do whatever works best for each team, i.e. dead rubber matches in seasons do not get played.  Sports such as roller derby do not really both with leagues and manage to prosper, a few pick and mix small competitions might be the way for a club to pick the right matches a la carte.

But, there are far more knowledgeable people on here than me and I have not been officially involved for a few years.

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On 12/18/2017 at 9:11 AM, langpark said:

The Belgians weren't pulling their weight.  They just entered one team, Gorillas (basically their national team), flogged the Dutch teams and had no intentions of contributing anything more than that.  The Dutch since then have created a 4th team (Harderwijk) and seem to be growing steadily with a long-term plan.  Belgium on the other hand...

NB Gorillas were lucky to get away with an 18-18 draw in Den Haag..Then beat us in the Grand Final that year when we traveled with a much weaker, side due to various reasons.

So as for flogging the Dutch teams !!!!!!

Also for being the national team that's not true.

Gorillas supplied around half of the National team (which could be expected as the only senior club in Belgium)with the rest coming from union and the French RL scene.

Whatever happened between the NRLB and the Gorilla's (after their one and only season) no one except the two parties concerned really know, but the Den Haag Knights were disappointed they did not compete and felt the competition was /is poorer with out them.

My own view ... the other (two) clubs in the Netherlands at the time failed to rise to the challenge and meet the standards NB Gorillas were setting on and off the field and forced their hand.This despite them travelling to play all their games (apart from the Grand Final) in the Netherlands.

Three of the guys played for DH KNights last season .

As for the Balkan Super League its great to see it growing.

 

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Yes mate, right now we have 2 teams in Tirana only the capital of Albania , we have been playing union for 3 years , now after the RLEF congress we will play league , so the first step was made internally playing 3 matches 9 s league tirana vs Iliret (the second team in Albania) we will play our first official match in February 27-28  with a team from Turkey in Tirana . 

On 12/16/2017 at 4:09 PM, deluded pom? said:

I was aware Albania had attended RLEF meetings but didn't realise they had formed a club. Are there any more teams in Albania

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On 12/16/2017 at 8:17 PM, Futtocks said:

Could be fun to see Kosovo and Albania meeting up, some time down the line. A big celebration of brotherhood!

We have done 5-6 matches in this last 3 years with Kosovo Rooster Rugby Club (the only rugby team in kosovo) in union, in the near future we might ask them to join league because they are showing some interest , but first we must consolidate league in Albania than we might give our help to the expansion of league in kosovo with the collaboration of RLEF normally.

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8 minutes ago, zzatelo said:

Yes mate, right now we have 2 teams in Tirana only the capital of Albania , we have been playing union for 3 years , now after the RLEF congress we will play league , so the first step was made internally playing 3 matches 9 s league tirana vs Iliret (the second team in Albania) we will play our first official match in February 27-28  with a team from Turkey in Tirana . 

Thanks for the response. I hope you will keep us informed about rugby league in Albania. 

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I was, in the past, more connected with the music scene in Albania, but became very fond of the place. I spent an unforgettable New Year in Tirana* several years ago, and made some good friends there. If only people didn't try to marry me off all the time! Mind you, I do miss the smuggled home-made raki...

So I wish their sporting teams well too, but most of all the Rugby League ones.

*you guys like your fireworks! The more unsafe the better.

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Can someone fill me in on how the Balkans league works? Is it home and away fixtures like league setups are done? Thanks.

Edited by RayCee

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